Thursday, February 24, 2011

Liliana's Specialist Appointment

Liliana and I set off for Springfield this morning in rush hour traffic with her bag full of comfort objects and entertainment, ready for whatever the morning would bring us. Well, everything except what happened.

The specialist measured her and said that she grew an inch, not 1/4 inch.

Good news, I know, but frustrating too. What's up with the difference in measurements? And how does this change what they've been telling me for 5 months? There's still an x-ray showing 1.5 years delay in growth and preliminary blood work that showed a growth hormone deficiency. Trust me, I'm glad they don't want to stick a hep-lock in my baby, but I don't want it to be at her detriment if they find out down the road that something WAS wrong, but some measurement issues messed it up.

Lucky for you, I get to explain this to you this afternoon when I understand it- mostly. Our regular pediatrician's and the specialist's measurements are not being done with the same ruler- they are about one inch off.

Exhibit One:

Ped. 9/17: 36.5 in
Spec. 9/29: 37.5 in
Ped. 1/28: 37.75 in
Spec. 2/24: 38.5 in

So by either doctor's measurements, she DID grow an inch. But we were comparing the 2nd Pediatrician measurement to the 1st Specialist measurement, which shows almost no growth. It's like apples and oranges- two separate things- fine on their own, but don't mix them!

They will continue to watch her closely, but their diagnosis right now is that she has a year and a half constitutional delay. She will probably be about that far behind her peers UNTIL they stop growing, while she continues to grow for a year and a half after them. If she stops growing again, then they will reevaluate if she needs the 2-hour- lots-of-needles-test. The doctor says that at this age we're ok waiting, and if we were to catch it in 6 months or a year, she would still have plenty of time to grow.

And knowing that I could walk out of the office not feeling like my daughter wasn't getting what she needed. The last thing I want to do is make a mistake in judgment that my child will have to pay for. Being short isn't the worst thing in the world- but I wouldn't want her to be abnormally small because I didn't stand up for her and she missed her chance for a treatment that was available. We have time- and hopefully she'll continue to grow, even if it's a little behind everyone else.

And just in case you wanted to know- if you plot her on the 3 year old height chart (the age of her bones) she is in the 75%. Maybe she'll be taller than her mom after all :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Kaylon loves being the knight in shining armor on Valentine's Day. He threw us a sock-hop, complete with new socks, chocolate, swing music, and decorations. My future son in laws will have a lot to live up to!

Thanks Kaylon!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What happens when Mom is Sick

I am sick. I have a stupid runny nose and a sore throat. I feel like crap.

My 2 youngest decided to have a picnic of raisins downstairs. By picnic I mean that they dumped half of a BIG box of raisins onto the floor and got water from the bathroom sink. Some of the raisins landed on plates, onto which they added some of the water. They're cleaning that up now, even though Liliana tells me periodically that she doesn't know how.

Yesterday, with their older sister as a guide, they put a towel on a toy box and poured water on top of it. Not sure what the thrill of that was, but afterward they got to clean up everything that was on the floor before they got to eat. That was a thrill for me.

I hate being sick.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's a GIRL!!!!

With all the confusion of the possible health risks, Kaylon and I had decided to find out the sex of the baby if something was indeed wrong. I had the ultrasound tech write down the sex for me to take home and open with Kaylon.

But there was one problem- ok not a real problem, a conflict we'll say- there was nothing wrong. So do we open it or not. Kaylon said no, but I had been looking forward to it for a week and a half and not opening it seemed wrong. Plus I had been looking at the ultrasound and had convinced myself that I had seen boy parts and didn't want to think that way the rest of the pregnancy and then find out I was wrong. And it was just too big a temptation to have that envelope in my hands. Kaylon relented on the premise that IF there was a next one that I would be firmly on board with not finding out and that I wouldn't try to read the ultrasound and guess.

We let Grace do the honors. She opened it excitedly and then stared at the page, confused: it was written in cursive! So I got to read it after all- It's a Girl! Grace was overjoyed. She ran around the room saying, "My wish came true!!!" Liliana was also happy and Moira was oblivious.

Kaylon and I are both happy. We both agreed that we would have liked the chance to try our hand at a boy, but another girl is a welcomed blessing and a joy- not to mention cheaper since we have all the girl stuff. The girls can be split between rooms evenly now and hopefully they will grow up to be best friends. And yes, we realize what a hormone- ridden house ours will be in 10 years, and yes, Kaylon will have a man cave so that he can escape when he needs to get away from the estrogen. I have promised him that for years.

But most of all I'm excited to raise a family of strong, smart, confident girls who will one day influence the world in their own ways.

Pregnancy Scares

The last week and a half have been some of the most stressful of my life. I was told at my regular OB appointment on the 24th that I had borderline low fluid- it was at the 5% and anything below that can be dangerous. Google research showed scary things that can cause low fluid (which I was pretty sure I didn't have since the baby had all its organs), but even scarier to me were all the awful things that can happen because of the low fluid. Things like growth stunting, underdeveloped lungs, cord compression, and even death. Treatment wasn't a sure thing and wouldn't be easy: fluids and bed rest. With three active girls, I just couldn't see it.

A repeat ultrasound showed the same low fluid level and I was referred to a specialist. I couldn't get an appointment for a week, though, so I started the waiting/worry period. I was told not to exercise, I did only the most basic housework, and told Liliana I couldn't carry her around anymore. I scared myself on internet sites. I prepared myself for the possibility of bed rest, premature labor, c-section, and death. I did get a blessing, which helped as I put my will into the hands of the Lord, and tried to have the faith necessary to be strong through this.

Finally my appointment came and I got a full ultrasound again. The baby was more cooperative this time and I got to see the profile pictures I had missed on the other scan. And then the doctor walked in and informed me that my fluid was perfect! I was stunned. He said that everything looked perfect and that the baby and I should be fine.

The emotions I felt last night are hard to describe. Relief, obviously. The absence of the stress was tangible. Some annoyance at the worry I had been put through. Anger at myself for getting so wrapped up in it and involving other people, which made them worry. Happy that my baby was healthy. Paranoid that the levels will drop again. Excited that I could have my normal life back. Everything at once was overwhelming.

But a good night's sleep can put everything into perspective. I had been facing the real possibility of my baby being hurt in some way. A baby that I love and cherish already; a baby that I have sacrificed for. The urgency from my doctor was real, not imagined. The stories on the web were actual accounts and a real possibility. But so far, I am not one of them. Whether by miracle or biology, my baby is perfect. And now I know that when faced with possible disaster, I lean toward preparing for the worst so that I am not blindsided if that happens. So I learned something about myself. And I saw that people care about me and my family, and that makes me feel good. They worried with me and then they rejoiced with me when I reported that all was well. And now that things are better I am happily returning to my exercise schedule and vacuuming!

But one thought keeps returning. I got just a glimpse of what it is like to have a sick child; a sliver of the anxiety that comes as you face the hurt/death of the one you have pledged to protect. My heart goes out to those parents who have faced the full force of that disaster; who did not have the reprieve that I received. And I am all the more grateful for all that I have.

Food Critic

Grace is making a habit out of critiquing dinner, and I got the brunt of it the other night. She tasted the food on her plate and told me,

"This doesn't taste quite right."

"I'm sorry. I think it tastes just right."

"Are you sure you put in all the ingredients?"

"Yes. I'm sure I did."

Maybe she has a future in the cuisine business...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Moira's Birthday Party

We had lots of fun for Moira's birthday! We had a "decorate your own cupcake" party (so much less stressful than decorating one myself!), presents, and reading time. Moira totally got the "presents-thing" this year- she kept telling her sisters- MINE!